Trampolining as a legitimate form of low-resistance exercise has been gaining ground (so to speak) all over the world for the past few years, with a number of local trampolining parks also opening their doors to fitness enthusiasts over the past year or two.
Like any form of exercise, there are some risks associated with trampolining, primarily neurological and orthopaedic impairments like fractures, dislocations, sprains and shin splints, but the rebounding exercise associated with trampolining has also proven to be a great way to burn calories and improve cardiovascular fitness, while reminiscing about the good old days on the bouncing castles and trampolines of one’s youth.
What benefits does rebounding exercise hold?
Even if you don’t consider yourself anything close to a fitness buff, rebounding exercise is easy enough for almost anyone to do, due to its relatively low-impact nature.
Both sedentary people and athletes can gain the following benefits from exercising on a trampoline:
- Increased leg strength: Considering the fact that gymnastics coaches regularly include trampoline exercise as a part of their training regimen, it goes without saying that bouncing up and down does hold benefits in terms of leg strength.
- Improved cardiovascular health: Regular 30-minute exercises on a trampoline have shown modest, but significant cardiovascular fitness improvements in both sedentary people and trained athletes. The nature of the exercise means that the heart rate is pushed up during bouncing sessions.
- An alternative to traditional cardiovascular exercise: For people that aren’t particularly fond of running, rebounding exercise on a trampoline is a more pleasurable alternative that doesn’t really feel like exercise at all.
- A great way to burn calories: The American Council on Exercise recently conducted a study to investigate claims that an hour-long trampolining class has the ability to burn up to 1000 calories. While the ACE study did find this claim to be rather dubious, the results were still surprising – in a 19-minute trampoline workout designed by Jumpsport, men were found to have burnt 11 calories per minute, while women burned an average of 8.3 calories per minute. That comes to about 660 calories burned by men in an hour, and 498 calories burned by women. For comparison, that’s about the same amount of calories that you would burn when running at a pace of about ten minutes per 1.5 kilometres on a flat surface.
How to stay safe
When doing rebounding exercises, consider the following safety tips to minimise the chance of injury:
- Make sure your ankles have support to reduce the chance of sprains, dislocations and fractures.
- Higher isn’t better. Lower vertical jumps will increase the intensity of your workout, while ensuring that you land where you want to land.
- Stability is key. If you’re using a small trampoline, make sure that it is placed on a flat, non-slippery surface, away from walls and furniture.
- Cover the springs, frame and hooks. Most trampoline-related injuries are a result of landing on an unprotected metal frame. Cover these completely with shock-absorbing pads.